Today's blog does not come from a calm place. As a matter of fact, when I first started writing this I was more than steamed, I was flaming mad and ready to absolutely set fire to things. You see, my friends at Hasbro are at it again, with lip service to inclusion and the end of discriminatory practices, but when it comes time to prove it, they continue to fall short. It all starts with art, well, and one of the biggest idiots on the internet, who purported to be sharing 'rejected Dominaria art' with the permission of an artist who sent it to him. Honestly, if it had ended there I might have just chalked it up to the biggest moron on the internet continuing to be a big moron, but his 'rejected' art gained traction. How much traction?
Apparently enough people believed this bullshit, and thought the image to be appropriate, that it popped up in advertisements for Prerelease events for this weekend. To say I'm utterly disgusted by this choice from a store that is a sanctioned WPN location doesn't even begin to cover the depth of my rage. The art for the actual card is utterly amazing. Seriously, check it out.
That is an awesome, powerful, woman, commanding a flying ship of some kind (forgive me, I'm not much of a Magic lore person these days, I think the Weatherflight flies...) and looking like she's in charge, rather than that she is a flotation device. After the inappropriateness of this was pointed out to Hasbro the ad was changed within a few hours, but that's it. You see, Hasbro continues to play the lip service game, where they talk about inclusiveness and they say they're doing things to make all of their events safer and more welcoming, but they don't actually do anything. This store continues to be a WPN location. Wizards, and presumably at least one distribution company and several publishers, continue to do business with this company. So, they can sexually harass and intimidate people, and the consequences amount to jack zero nothing squat. Today, I'm passing out blame. Hasbro: Your lackluster willingness to enforce your 'Cover Our Asses' policies are an embarrassment to the industry, to the retailers who care about inclusiveness and diversity, and, most importantly, they are hurting your brand. You see, while you make the decision to not discipline stores because it might hurt your bottom line, you're actually hurting your bottom line by allowing this trash to continue to exist. Stores are hurting your bottom line with their unwashed white boy clubs where women, minorities, or anyone who might not be a straight, white, cisgendered male, are not welcome. The gross lack of courage you continue to display is hurting your brand, and hurting hundreds of retailers who are trying to fight the good fight. While you force background checks upon us, write 'safe spaces' flyers, and talk about what a great game you're playing, you are actually failing to do anything. You are currently a fantastic example of everything that you SHOULD NOT DO. Other Publishers: You're to blame as well. Blacklist this store. Tell distribution they can't buy any of your products. Your logo is sitting side by side with the absolute sexist trash that they're peddling. When you talk about professionalism, codes of conduct, and respecting all gamers, but let your logo sit on the shelve of the worst kinds of human scum, you are failing yourself...and me. So what's to be done about it. Unsolicited advice to my friends at Hasbro incoming...
First, Hasbro needs to stop being so secretive with disciplinary measures. They need to publish what was done, and why it was done. They need to set expectations and punish those people and companies that fail to meet them. Second, start by stripping all WPN status from this store. Don't let them run events. Don't let them sell your product. Third, send a cease and desist letter to that troll who continues to perpetuate lies and stereotypes through his aggressively disgusting and highly despicable programming. Sue him for defamation. Sue him for doing things to hurt your business. You've allowed his gross allegations to affect every business, including mine, for far too long. It's time for you to prove that you can do something more than provide lip service. It's time for you to do something.